Wisconsin Football: A Look at the Badgers 2016 Commits


The 2015 football season has yet to begin, but the doesn’t mean the Wisconsin football program and other college football programs aren’t already preparing for 2016 by trying to get the most talented high school prospects locked up.

More from Football

The Wisconsin Badgers have already secured several commitments for the class of 2016, including a big-time running back and a legacy quarterback.

A pair of in-state prospects round out the current list of recruits for the Wisconsin football program.

Here’s who is currently committed to the Badgers in 2016, courtesy of 247Sports:

Let’s take a look at each prospect, starting with four-star running back Antonio Williams.

Antonio Williams

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Antonio Williams is a 5-10, 210 pound running back out of North Stanly High School in North Carolina.

He’s considered one of the best players in the country. He’s a 247 composite four-star player, considered the sixth-best running back prospect in the country, the fifth-best football prospect in the state of North Carolina, and the 158th-best prospect nationally.

Williams committed to Wisconsin in December, and remains committed despite offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, South Carolina, Penn State, Notre Dame, and many others.

Despite so many enticing offers, Williams seems — at the moment — secure in his decision.

And as long as we’re checking out his tweets, he’s a fun follow on Twitter, too.

A quick look at his highlight reel shows everything you’re looking for in a high school running back prospect — quickness, speed, vision in the hole, cut-back ability, and power.

Williams will be a big-time addition to the Wisconsin backfield in 2016.

Kare’ Lyles

Wisconsin added a commitment in March that could be a long-term solution at quarterback when legacy recruit Kare’ Lyles picked UW.

Lyles is a 6-1, 215 pound quarterback out of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. 247Sports ranks him a three star talent, the 46th best pro-style prospect and the ninth-best prospect from Arizona.

Lyles chose the Badgers, a school his father, Kevin Lyles, played tight end for in the mid 1990s. Kare’s dad actually played alongside Joe Rudolph, current Wisconsin associate head coach/offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.

In Lyles, Wisconsin has a pro-style commit with a huge arm and the athletic ability to run if needed.

As important as adding another skilled quarterback to the depth chart as Lyles is, his recruitment helps the Badgers in other ways. Lyles younger brother, class of 2017 guard Kayden Lyles, is one of the top players at his position, and one of the top players in Arizona. Hopefully the duo are a package deal, and the Badgers add a talented lineman to go along with a promising quarterback.

Mason Stokke

Three-star outside linebacker Mason Stokke, a Menomonie High School senior, committed to the Badgers in April.

Stokke, a 6-3, 205 pound recruit, is considered the seventh-best prospect in the state by 247Sports, and is considered the 108th best outside linebacker in the country.

Look up Stokke on Youtube and Hudl, and you won’t immediately find football highlights — this kid is an impressive wrestler. At outside linebacker, some wrestling skills will definitely come in handy, and a wrestler’s toughness and mentality typically is perfect for a football player.

Luke Benzaschawel

Rounding out Wisconsin’s current recruits is another in-state player, Luke Benzaschawel of Grafton High School.

Benzaschawel is a 6-7, 220 pound weak side defensive end. 247Sports lists him as a two-star prospect, and projects him the eighth best player out of Wisconsin (one spot behind Stokke) and the 94th best weak side defensive end prospect in the country.

He’s a big body, and with the right tutelage, could become a playmaker for the Badgers in the years to come.

In the coming months Wisconsin will host plenty of potential recruits, hoping to build on an already strong class that features a pair of big-name recruits and two of the better in-state prospects.

Next: Wisconsin QB Situation

More from Badger of Honor